Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Fun and Free State & Country Capital Identification Game

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. In both modes of the game works the same way. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

Applications for Education
Capital Toss is designed for students in grades three through five. It's not a terribly complex game, but it should make for a good review activity for your students.

Social Media Scenarios for Teachers to Consider

This afternoon I facilitated a faculty meeting in which my goal was to get people thinking critically about how they are currently using social media. Rather than just talking at the faculty and telling them about some real life situations, I decided to create a little a game.

To create the game I simply wrote some scenarios on slides. Then I create an objective for the game. In this case the objective was to navigate from Maine to Florida while avoiding social media pitfalls. Then when it was time to play the game in the faculty meeting I gave each group a blank map of the eastern United States. We rolled a dice to determine where each group would advance to. Each number on the die corresponded to a state listed in the slides of scenarios. Those slides can be seen here.

How to Share Your Google VR Tours With Students

Over the last few weeks I have received a lot of emails from readers who had made virtual reality tours in Google's VR Tour Creator but then ran into difficulty sharing those tours with their students. To answer those questions I made the following video that demonstrates how you can share your VR tours with students.

Learn more about how to use Google's VR Tour Creator by watching this video that I made earlier this year.

Google's VR Tour Creator is one of the tools that I feature in depth in my Teaching History With Technology course. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Voicepods Has New Editing Features - Turn Text Into Voice Recordings

A few weeks ago I introduced a new tool called Voicepods. Voicepods is a service that will create voice recordings based on the text that you write. The voice recording that is generated from your text can be listened to online and you can download it as an MP3 to use wherever MP3 playback is supported.

This week Voicepods introduced two new features. First, Voicepods now has an editor that you can use to add pauses, emphasize words, change the pitch and the speed of the voice, and spell out the words in a passage. Second, Voicepods now has the option to collaborate on projects. Students can use the collaboration feature to work with each other or to share work with their teachers.

Watch my video to see how easy it is to use Voicepods.

5 Science & Math Resources That Have a Halloween Theme

Now that we're into October I'll start to see a lot more searches for "Halloween" on this blog. Here's a a handful of Halloween-themed math and science resources.

SciShow Kids has a playlist of videos covering topics that are frequently connected to symbols of Halloween. Those topics are bats, spiders, skeletons, and the changing colors of leaves. In the video about bats students learn how bats use sound to find their way at night, how and why bats hang upside down, and how they rear their offspring. In the video on spiders students learn about the role of spiders in controlling flying insect populations and how spiders create webs. In the video about the human skeleton students can learn about the functions of the skeleton as well as how bones grow and heal over time. Finally, in the video on leaves students learn about the correlation between chlorophyll, sunlight, and leaf color.

The Halloween Collection by PBS Learning- Links to a variety of Halloween-themed lesson plans for students of all ages. Make sure you don't miss the video of the flesh-eating beetles!

Coding with Monsters- Who doesn't love to code? When it is involves monsters it is even better!

31 Days of Halloween STEM activities- Engineering, edible science, chemistry, and slime! Kids of all ages will love making glow in the dark slime! 

Number Chase - Math vs. Zombies is a free iPad game with a Halloween theme. The game is has three virtual worlds each containing ten levels of basic math problems. The object of the game is to correctly solve as many math problems as possible before the zombies catch you. The math of the game is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.